IN 1944 Menachem Begin (pictured) assumed command of the Irgun Zwei Leumi, having joined the group two years earlier.
In February 1944 the Irgun killed a British police inspector and a British constable. A month later it killed eight British policemen, including an assistant superintendent.
On August 8, 1944 Begin’s men almost succeeded in assassinating the British High Commander in Palestine, Sir Harold MacMichael, murdering ten British police constables in the process. On November 1, 1944 two traveling Irgunists in Cairo assassinated Lord Moyne, British Resident Minister of State in the Middle East.
In 1946 the Irgun killed forty-nine British soldiers and twenty-eight British policemen, some of them while they were sleeping in their tent in a military carpark in Tel Aviv. The above casualty list does not include ninety-two killed in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which counted civilians and women among its victims. In December of the same year the Irgun captured and whipped a major of the Second Dorchestershire Brigade and three sergeants.
In 1947 the Irgun bombed the Goldsmith Officers Club in Jerusalem, killing thirteen. On April 18-22 of the same year Irgunists attacked a medical dressing station, a Red Cross movie house and the Cairo-Haifa train. All together six more were killed in these operations. On July 24 the Irgun hanged two British soldiers after kidnapping them as hostages. On September 10 they killed four British policemen while robbing Barclay’s Bank in Tel Aviv. On September 29 they killed nine policemen on a bomb attack on the Haifa Police Headquarters. During the same year letter bombs, which failed to go off, were sent to Prime Minister Atlee, Foreign Secretary Bevin and Winston Churchill.
In 1948, after Britain announced it was giving up its mandate in Palestine, the Irgun and other Jewish organizations killed thirty-seven British soldiers and airmen. On April 10, 1948 the Irgun participated in the massacre of some 250 Arabs at Dair Yasin, more than half of them women and children.
In 1977 Menachem Begin, the new Prime Minister of Israel, was received with highest honors by President James Earl Carter, Jr., who listened attentively as Begin announced that he would have nothing to do with the “terrorist” Palestine Liberation Organization.
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Source: Instauration magazine, October 1977